Morning surface water temperatures are in the mid-80s and the creeks are full of bait.   

It’s July on the South Carolina coast, and Captain Buddy Love with Captain Smiley Fishing Charters (843-361-7445) reports that some days you have to work to catch the inshore species.  But they are still biting, and each trip they are managing to pick up some combination of floundertrout and redfish.  Unfortunately most of the keeper flounder seem to be north of the border in North Carolina, but if you weed through smaller fish you can still find some in South Carolina waters.  

While for flounder you will have the best success dragging baits along the bottom, to pick up a mixed inshore bag live shrimp or finger mullet under a slip cork have been the best bait.  Target moving water and look around shell beds.  Recently the falling tide has been the best.  You can also pick up redfish as well as occasional black drum with cut shrimp on the bottom in holes and around oysters.  

Even as the resident fish can slow down in the heat, the Spanish mackerel bite is still red-hot.  Trolling spoons is a great way to catch them, but recently they caught 30 fish casting at the schools.  Spanish are generally off the beaches in 20-30 feet of water, although sometimes they will come closer.  Birds will usually show you the way if the fish are schooling.     

Finally, the best fighting fish easily accessible right now are sharks, and there are some big ones inside as well as off the beaches.  In 25-30 feet of water they have gotten into some hammerheads recently.  


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